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Museum of Anthropology

Prize(s) Honorable Mentions in Interior Architectural Illumination
Company AES Engineering
Lead Designers Doug McMillan
Other Designer's names Andy Su
Other Credits Photographer: Ema Peter
Completion Date Completed Early 2018
Project Location Vancouver, BC
Entry Description
The Museum of Anthropology required transforming a dark space into a dynamic environment for a new gallery. With only one window, the space had limited natural light and required a unique approach. A ceiling-mounted softbox lighting system was created that forms a component of the architectural design and emulates the colour temperature of the daylight outside the gallery. Continuously changing lighting provides a different perspective on the exhibit, depending on the time of day and outdoor conditions, allowing visitors to see the Indigenous artifacts as they are intended to be experienced in an exterior setting.
This first-of-its-kind approach required a custom sensor to detect the colour temperature and intensity of the exterior daylight. This information is sent to the interior lighting controls every three minutes. On a bright, summer day, the room is lit on its brightest setting while a cloudy day reduces the intensity inside. The luminaries can also be overridden manually to ensure flexibility. The luminous ceiling panel makes the room feel larger and visitors experience a level of immersion, forgetting they are standing in an interior gallery.